Is That Sheldon Silver Playing the Banjo?
NY Banjo: A Five-String Summit
Review by Paul Jossman
1000 banjo geeks filled the Hart Theatre at The Egg for the long-awaited (was it really 10 years?) return of the NY Banjo Summit – a collection of the many of the country’s most accomplished and influential five-string banjo players who happen to reside in or have strong ties to New York State. The line-up consisted of: Bela Fleck, Bill Keith, Eric Weissberg, Mac Benford, Pete Wernick, Richie Stearns and Tony Trischka. Wow!
For people with only a passing interest in banjo music, it’s fair to say that they might think it all sounds alike. The banjo is considered a limited, “happy instrument” and not one’s first choice if planning to write music that was going to, oh shall we say, plunge headlong into the inky depths of the crippled American spirit. This limiting characterization is ridiculous, and this sold-out show blew it right out of the water.